Honda motorcycles are well known in the United States for being a quality and reliable manufacturer of motorcycle engines and transmissions. In addition, they are also recognized as a top producer of sports motorcycles. But what is the history of Honda? Where did it all start?
Many people are interested in the history of Honda motorcycles because many of them were used by U.S. soldiers during the post war era. During the late 1940’s a man named Takata Ide Honda, who was born in Kyoto Japan began the journey that would become the history of Honda motorcycles. Not only did Honda excel in regards to volume of motorcycles manufactured, it also had some of the finest built, oldest, and longest lasting motorcycles you will find anywhere. It is a real wonder how far Honda went from a humble company founded on the outskirts of Japan to an international name in motorcycle building.
Honda began with a small family business model and was known mainly as a manufacturer of motorcycle parts. The company’s first bikes were small, inexpensive machines built mostly for the Japanese market. However, after two years of successful sales in the Japanese markets Takata began production of larger models. After World War II ended the Japanese population was decimated and there was no longer a need for military vehicles. Because there were not any new vehicles available, Honda began building sport bikes to be used by civilian consumers instead. Production on Honda motorcycles began in small numbers but grew rapidly as the company realized the demand for these bikes.
When World War II ended the Japanese economy was broken and Japanese interest in motorcycles and sport bikes waned. American companies, which were considered to be the largest motorcycle manufacturers, were suddenly in the lead in the production and sales of motorcycle parts and equipment. Honda quickly realized that it would have to either adopt this new strategy of producing more motorcycles or find a way to become competitive with the other manufacturers. Luckily for Honda, they had several years of experience in designing, engineering and selling high quality bikes. With their new found knowledge they quickly began production of Honda motorcycles in the early years.
When Honda began selling cars, they quickly became one of the most popular motorcycle manufacturers in the world. As they were gaining in popularity, Honda began developing pocket rockets and small street motorcycles. When they reached the mass market, however, they started making larger, more powerful, sports bikes. It wasn’t long before they reached the top of the mountain bike category and were known for great engineering designs. Today, Honda is known not only for their work in the motorcycle industry but for their design work in areas such as fashion and electronics.
One of the most well known motorcycles in history is the iconic Honda Jazz. This beautiful model was developed by the legendary Takeshi Fujiwara, who designed the body and the motor. Later on, Takeshi Fujiwara designed and created the popular Takeo Juza, a sport bike meant for racing. Finally, Takeshi Okumura took his expertise in body building and motorcycle engineering and created the famous HID (high visibility) motorcycle. Together, the genius who designed the Honda Jazz, Takeshi Fujiwara and Takeshi Okumura created one of the most iconic and popular motorcycles of all time.